Bruxism is a problem adults are all too familiar with. It happens to them often, and their kids are equally vulnerable to it. As much as it seems harmless, albeit rather frustrating and sleep-interrupting, it’s a serious dental problem. It sometimes causes fractures in the teeth or chipping of the enamel. Your child may also complain of painful jaws along with a headache. In worse cases, there’s the loosening of the teeth, which may lead to eventual tooth loss. This is why it’s important to stop teeth grinding as soon as you notice it. Here are some steps to do that:

Address the stress

One of the likely culprits behind teeth grinding among kids is anxiety. Perhaps your child is stressed out with a recent change in address or an exam coming up. Help them cope with these stressors by asking them to open up about what they’re feeling and struggling with. Try stress-relieving techniques, too, like encouraging them to take a warm bath before bedtime or playing soothing music as they sleep. Massage and stretching exercises can also help relax tense muscles. The important thing is to know what exactly is causing your child to be anxious so that you can take appropriate actions in either getting rid of the stressor or helping them overcome it. If the teeth grinding persists, though, combine your efforts with the use of custom mouth guard. Consult their dentist about it.

Fix the crooked teeth

Child on dentist chair with dentists

Another reason kids develop the habit of teeth grinding is that they have an existing dental problem such as an abnormal bite, resulting from teeth not aligning properly when the jaw closes. If your child is suffering from crooked teeth, have it treated by a pediatric dentist in Utah immediately. This problem can all the more cause a host of other dental issues, including bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. Dentists usually recommend braces to treat incorrect bites. For sure, you know already the popular metal braces. This is the most effective treatment for extreme cases of overcrowding. On the downside, they’re very unsightly and often make children very self-conscious. Ask the dentist then if your kids can use Invisalign, the clear, “invisible” aligners.

Let them drink enough water

Dehydration is closely linked to bruxism. That’s why you have to make sure that your child is getting enough water every day, especially during summer. High temperatures and kids playing under the sun most of the day can result in losing large amounts of fluids in the body. There are lots of ways to encourage hydration at home. For one, you can designate a special drinking cup for kids, those designed with animated characters. This entices them to fill it up and drink more. You can also organize a rewards system of some sort, where you’ll give them star stamps every time they get water. Involve the whole family in the game to make it more fun for the kids.

Has your child developed the habit of grinding his teeth? Help him stop it immediately. Consult his doctor to know other interventions appropriate for his health and age.

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